Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: James D. Mardock
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry V (Modern, Folio)


1623.1

[3.7]

Enter the Constable of France, the Lord Rambures, 1625Orléans, [and the] Dauphin, with others.
Constable Tut, I have the best armor of the world. Would it were day.
Orléans You have an excellent armor, but let my horse have his due.
1630Constable It is the best horse of Europe.
Orléans Will it never be morning?
Dauphin My lord of Orléans, and my lord high constable, you talk of horse and armor?
Orléans You are as well provided of both as any 1635prince in the world.
Dauphin What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns. Ch'ha! He bounds from the earth as if his entrails were hairs: le cheval volant, the Pegasus, qui a les narines de 1640feu! When I bestride him, I soar; I am a hawk. He trots the air. The earth sings when he touches it. The basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
Orléans He's of the color of the nutmeg.
1645Dauphin And of the heat of the ginger. It is a beast for Perseus. He is pure air and fire, and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him. He is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call 1650beasts.
Constable Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse.
Dauphin It is the prince of palfreys. His neigh is like the bidding of a monarch, and his countenance enforces 1655homage.
Orléans No more, cousin.
Dauphin Nay, the man hath no wit that cannot from the rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb vary deserved praise on my palfrey; it is a theme as 1660fluent as the sea. Turn the sands into eloquent tongues and my horse is argument for them all. 'Tis a subject for a sovereign to reason on, and for a sovereign's sovereign to ride on, and for the world, familiar to us and unknown, to lay apart their particular functions 1665and wonder at him. I once writ a sonnet in his praise, and began thus: "Wonder of nature --"
Orléans I have heard a sonnet begin so to one's mistress.
Dauphin Then did they imitate that which I composed 1670to my courser, for my horse is my mistress.
Orléans Your mistress bears well.
Dauphin Me well, which is the prescript praise and perfection of a good and particular mistress.
Constable Nay, for methought yesterday your mistress 1675shrewdly shook your back.
Dauphin So perhaps did yours.
Constable Mine was not bridled.
Dauphin Oh, then belike she was old and gentle, and you rode like a kern of Ireland, your French hose off, and in 1680your strait strossers.
Constable You have good judgment in horsemanship.
Dauphin Be warned by me then: they that ride so and ride not warily fall into foul bogs. I had rather have 1685my horse to my mistress.
Constable I had as lief have my mistress a jade.
Dauphin I tell thee, constable, my mistress wears his own hair.
Constable I could make as true a boast as that if I had a 1690sow to my mistress.
Dauphin "Le chien est retourné à son propre vomissement, et la truie lavée au bourbier." Thou makest use of anything.
Constable Yet do I not use my horse for my mistress, or any such proverb so little kin to the purpose.
1695Rambures My lord constable, the armor that I saw in your tent tonight: are those stars or suns upon it?
Constable Stars, my lord.
Dauphin Some of them will fall tomorrow, I hope.
Constable And yet my sky shall not want.
1700Dauphin That may be, for you bear a many superfluously, and 'twere more honor some were away.
Constable Ev'n as your horse bears your praises, who would trot as well were some of your brags dismounted.
1705Dauphin Would I were able to load him with his desert. Will it never be day? I will trot tomorrow a mile, and my way shall be paved with English faces.
Constable I will not say so for fear I should be faced out of my way, but I would it were morning, for I would 1710fain be about the ears of the English.
Rambures Who will go to hazard with me for twenty prisoners?
Constable You must first go yourself to hazard ere you have them.
1715Dauphin 'Tis midnight; I'll go arm myself.
Exit.
Orléans The dauphin longs for morning.
Rambures He longs to eat the English.
Constable I think he will eat all he kills.
Orléans By the white hand of my lady, he's a 1720gallant prince.
Constable Swear by her foot, that she may tread out the oath.
Orléans He is simply the most active gentleman of France.
1725Constable Doing is activity, and he will still be doing.
Orléans He never did harm that I heard of.
Constable Nor will do none tomorrow; he will keep that good name still.
Orléans I know him to be valiant.
1730Constable I was told that by one that knows him better than you.
Orléans What's he?
Constable Marry, he told me so himself, and he said he cared not who knew it.
1735Orléans He needs not; it is no hidden virtue in him.
Constable By my faith, sir, but it is. Never anybody saw it but his lackey. 'Tis a hooded valor, and when it appears, it will bate.
1740Orléans Ill will never said well.
Constable I will cap that proverb with "There is flattery in friendship."
Orléans And I will take up that with "Give the devil his due."
1745Constable Well placed. There stands your friend for the devil. Have at the very eye of that proverb with "A pox of the devil."
Orléans You are the better at proverbs by how much "a fool's bolt is soon shot."
1750Constable You have shot over.
Orléans 'Tis not the first time you were overshot.
Enter a Messenger.
Messenger My lord high constable, the English lie within fifteen hundred paces of your tents.
1755Constable Who hath measured the ground?
Messenger The lord Grandpré.
Constable A valiant and most expert gentleman. Would it were day! Alas, poor Harry of England. He longs not for the dawning as we do.
1760Orléans What a wretched and peevish fellow is this king of England, to mope with his fat-brained followers so far out of his knowledge!
Constable If the English had any apprehension, they would run away.
1765Orléans That they lack, for if their heads had any intellectual armor, they could never wear such heavy headpieces.
Rambures That island of England breeds very valiant creatures. Their mastiffs are of unmatchable 1770courage.
Orléans Foolish curs, that run winking into the mouth of a Russian bear and have their heads crushed like rotten apples. You may as well say that's a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a 1775lion.
Constable Just, just. And the men do sympathize with the mastiffs in robustious and rough coming on, leaving their wits with their wives. And then give them great meals of beef, and iron and steel; they 1780will eat like wolves and fight like devils.
Orléans Ay, but these English are shrewdly out of beef.
Constable Then shall we find tomorrow they have only stomachs to eat, and none to fight. Now is it time to 1785arm. Come, shall we about it?
Orléans It is now two o'clock, but let me see: by ten
We shall have each a hundred Englishmen.
Exeunt.